Getting around Asia

Tips for travellers

Tuk tuk driving as sun sets in the background

When you're travelling through Asia, there are plenty of options for getting around. Here's an overview of what to expect:

  • Public transport: Public transport can be a great way to get around in the bigger cities, but it can get crowded, particularly during peak commuter times and public holidays.
  • Rail travel: Southeast Asian countries with train services include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,  Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Rail travel is not always the most efficient way to travel, with some train routes taking twice the time as travelling by bus. 
  • Taxis and tuk tuks: Taxis, tuk tuks and motorcycle taxis are a convenient way to get around, just agree on the price and agreed route before engaging one if they are unmetered.
  • Ferries: In some places, inter-island ferries and river craft can be overloaded, poorly maintained or lack necessary life-saving equipment. Ensure any vessel you intend to board is carrying appropriate safety equipment and that life jackets are provided for all passengers
  • Driving Before driving overseas, check the local road rules and licence requirements. You may hold a valid Australian Licence, but it may not be recognised in another country. For example, Vietnam does not recognise an Australian Licence and you must purchase a licence to drive in Vietnam, including for driving 50CC mopeds/motorcycles.
  • International driving permit: Purchase an International Driving Permit before you go. This is a translation of your licence and may be required when hiring a car overseas. Not all countries recognise an International Driving Permit, so research your destination before you leave.

Apply for an international driving permit

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